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How SMEs can afford the move to cryptocurrencies

Whether it’s Bitcoin or another alternative currency, the way consumers expect to pay for goods is changing. And SMEs have to adapt if they want to safeguard sales. Alternative finance can help them afford the new technology.

Some small business owners believe Bitcoin will be on the high-street within a few years, others think it will happen even sooner. Whether this happens or not – and given the current volatility of the currency it’s a big if – businesses still need to be alert to changes in consumer payment culture and ensure that they’re not excluded from key payment revenue streams.

If Bitcoin doesn’t make it to the high-street, it seems likely that another cryptocurrency will. Furthermore, the cashless payment culture is not just about alternative currencies. Google, Apple and Samsung have ushered in mobile payment technology, which is gaining traction at a significant rate, while Fingopay biometric payment technology has been introduced by grocer chain Costcutter. In short, fewer and fewer people are choosing to pay using cash.

Of course, for businesses to tap into this spending power, they have to have the technology to receive and process these kinds of payment. While larger companies are better positioned to adapt, this development is more challenging for small businesses, for which the cost of new technology bares a heavier burden. For many small business owners, the cost of new payment technology is the last thing they need as they work to pay bills for the likes of pension auto-enrolment, cybersecurity, business rates and compliance with new regulation relating to the living wage and apprenticeships.

This is where alternative finance can help. Services such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are offering small business owners accessibility, affordability and flexibility at a time when traditional lenders continue to display caution with regard to SME lending.

With the right help, small businesses can use alternative finance to raise funds to finance investment or maintain cashflow. This is how a small business in Sussex, working with a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, used peer-to-peer lending to raise £20,000 to buy new equipment.

How we pay for goods and services is changing and it’s important that SMEs keep pace with advances in payment technology. To do so, accessing finance on the right terms is vital. And in today’s marketplace, this means being aware of all the available options, including alternative finance.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Tony on 01903 602211 or tony@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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